Sanwo-Olu reopens churches, mosques, silent on traditional worship centres

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Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu

Tobi Ijalana
Relief has come the way of churches and mosques that have been itching to reopen in Lagos State as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has okayed it.

The governor said on Saturday that the worship centres shut since March could now reopen, saying mosques could do so from Friday 7 and churches from Sunday August 9.

It is however not clear whether the government has indicated that traditional worshippers too can now begin to congregate as it did not specify this.

Interestingly, there are several traditional worshippers centres in different parts of Lagos, despite its cosmopolitan outlook. indeed gathered that If a worshippers were due to have the Ipela Day this August, which is the day for the celebration of the new yam.

Besides, the Issue Day is due this August.

Sanwo-Olu noted, “We must reiterate that places of worship have their regular once a week service at designated days. For the avoidance of doubt, there will be Friday worships for our Muslim followers and Sunday worships for our Christian followers.

“We will monitor this for the next couple of weeks and see how compliance gets as we move along. They are encouraged to have multiple services on those days but they should restrict it to those designated days of worship.”

Sanwo-olu however stressed that there were conditions for the reopening:

“We will only allow 50 per cent of their maximum capacities, either at the church or at the mosque. Churches who have a Saturday worship day will also be allowed to hold worship.

“In addition, the following conditions must also be fully met by all our religious centres; regular gatherings are permitted to hold but vigils and other services should still be on hold for now.

“We recommend and seriously appeal to our senior citizens – if you are aged 65 and above, you are still strongly advised not to attend these places of worship. Please stay back at home.”

Sanwo-Olu advised religious leaders to consider holding services in open spaces and well-ventilated areas “as circumstances of faith and tradition permit”.

“We should still ensure that no face masks policy are maintained throughout the duration of the services. They should ensure that regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities are carried out to maintain a clean and hygiene environment before, during and after the services.

“It is mandatory to provide handwashing facilities and hand sanitisers at the various worship places. Handshakes, hugs, high-fives are not permitted during gatherings and should be emphasised and displayed at the various places of worship.”

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